I realized recently that I don’t like
to shower. It starts out nicely enough.
The pathetic spray tapdances on my shoulders
I start to look like a newborn baby
mammal still coated in fluid: my body
shines and my limbs slip past one another,
sometimes making a lovely slurping sound
before they melt together softly once again.
Once the water weighs my hair down, it’s pulling:
my neck relaxes back as though it’s
melting . Sometimes it feels like a cousin braiding
my hair, other times it feels like light
S&M (I like my hair pulled).
With my face upturned, I consider the
ceiling that looks like painted-over
Styrofoam, counting squares, and wondering
if someone is peering back at me through
those wormy holes. But then I notice
the mound of brown at my feet
that someone left.
I sidestep the evil thing the rest of
my time in there. I can’t stand the sight
of human hair ever since I saw a black
girl’s weave pulled out in gym class.
The way it looked like a large spider,
her high-pitched screams, and how angular pieces
of it clung to my socks for weeks after.
Annie H. is a junior in college.